Intel CEO Brian Krzanich visited President Trump at the White House Wednesday and announced a $7 billion investment in a semiconductor factory in Chandler, Arizona that he claims will employ 3,000 high-wage workers at the height of production.
Dubbed Fab 42, Intel's Chandler factory will build some of "the most advanced 7-nanometer semiconductor chips on the planet,” Krzanich said, adding that the company's investment in the factory is also an investment in American manufacturing. Intel — which announced layoffs of some 12,000 employees in 2016 — said the facility will create "approximately 3,000 high-tech, high-wage jobs" and "more than 10,000 total long-term jobs in Arizona."
"We're very happy and I can tell you the people of Arizona are very happy," President Trump said of Intel's factory announcement.
Today marks the second time Intel has announced Fab 42 alongside a sitting US President. In February of 2011, the company announced Fab 42 during a visit to an Intel facility by President Obama. At that time it said the facility would "create thousands of construction and permanent manufacturing jobs," with a scheduled completion date in 2013.
"When this factory is finished, Intel will employ around a thousand men and women," Obama said in 2012, in Chandler. "As an American, I'm proud of companies like Intel, who create jobs here. We all are. So let's help them grow and hire even faster. We have a huge opportunity to create more high-tech manufacturing jobs in the United States and bring some of these jobs back from overseas. But we're going to have to seize the moment. That starts with changing our tax system."
Asked about the timing of Intel's investment at the White House Wednesday, Krzanich said that Intel held back on "doing this investment until now." Asked why Intel chose to make the announcement at the White House, he said, "It's really in support of the tax and regulatory policies that we see the administration pushing forward," according to the pool report.
In an email to Intel employees, Krzanich explained the company's rationale for the Chandler factory investment. "We’ve maintained this U.S.-based manufacturing even
though approximately 80 percent of our product is sold outside the United States —we’re one of the top 5 exporters and top 2 R&D spenders in the U.S. — and despite the fact that from a tax and regulatory position we have been disadvantaged relative to the rest of the world where we compete," Krzanich wrote.
Last summer, Krzanich scheduled a political event in the bay area with then-candidate Donald Trump, but claims he cancelled it once it became a campaign fundraiser. Krzanich is also one of the few tech industry leaders who advises the president. Along with Elon Musk and Michael Dell, Krzanich is a member of the president's manufacturing council.
And while Intel's chief appears to be an ally in promoting Trump's job-centric agenda, Intel is one of 130 technology companies who have joined a friend-of-the-court brief opposing the president's refugee and travel ban.
"Fab 42 was originally announced in 2011," a spokesperson for Intel told BuzzFeed News in a statement. "We delayed completion to ensure Fab 42 came online when we expected sufficient demand. We’re making this investment now in anticipation of the growth of our business."
Hamza Shaban is a technology policy reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Washington, DC.
Contact Hamza Shaban at Hamza.Shaban@buzzfeed.com.
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